Nothing in life is easy, but Liverpool made it look easy as they strolled to a 4-0 win over Southampton. It looked easy because the Reds are the absolute business. It looked easy because of how good this team is and how hard they work to be at this level.
Imagine with me for a second. You’re the opposition players, manager, and technical staff. You spend a whole week preparing to face Liverpool at Anfield. You don’t think you’re going to win, probably, but you’re spending hours and hours in meeting rooms and on the training ground crafting a plan to “get at” the Reds.
And then? 90 seconds after the referee blows the whistle you’re down 1-0 and you’re watching a guy celebrate his goal by pretending to play video games. All that hard work and scheming is out the window. You head home tonight thanking your deity that the score wasn’t 9-0 again.
You’re not the Southampton manager or players. You support the Reds and you’ve just spent the day laughing and cheering because life is easy when Liverpool is scoring four. That laughing and cheering carries us into the night as we do it together, celebrating what we mean to each other and taking the opportunity to cheer and laugh together because that’s what football is at its absolute best.
The thing is, Southampton sit 14th in the Premier League. They’re not as good as Liverpool, but you have to be at a certain elite level to remain in the Premier League. They’re absolutely one of the 15 best teams in the league, which is probably the best league in the world. It’s hard to get here, is my point.
And they’re miles and miles away from laying a glove on the Reds. That’s just how good things are.
Winners and Losers
I’ve never played the sport of football at a high level, but I imagine it’s very difficult to score a goal basically as the game starts. Jota got the scoring started today by slotting home a peach of a cross from Andy Robertson before the game clock hit 2:00. He’d go on to score another 30 minutes later and set the pace for the rest of the game. So that’s 7 goals on the season in the Premier League. He’s equal with Sadio Mane. Pretty good.
Apparently, Jota was playing in an online FIFA22 tournament earlier today. He had to leave the video game football tournament to go play real football. So not only is he better than me at real life football, which is easy to accept, he’s also much better at video games than me too. I can’t beat this guy.
Fabinho, Thiago, and Jordan Henderson is the ideal Liverpool midfield. It’s the team’s three best midfielders on ability, but they also compliment each other very well. Unfortunately, they’ve only been able to play 13 games together in the last two seasons, because of injuries and other unforeseen circumstances. According to Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedRed on Twitter), Liverpool are 12-1-0 when this midfield plays. The goal differential? 35 goals scored, only 5 allowed.
The more time these guys play together the better.
It’s very easy to look at a 4-0 victory and talk about how well the attackers play. Hell, I literally just did that. However, the reason why the zero in the scoreline remained that way for 90 minutes was because of the beautiful bearded goalkeeper at the back of Liverpool’s defense.
Liverpool were dominating possession in the attacking end, but Southampton had opportunities to break. Alisson did well on the three saves he made, which were all near one on one opportunities.
I don’t think the Southampton’s manager setup his team to lose in the first 90 seconds of the game, but that’s definitely what happened. But Southampton didn’t start playing well until they were already 4-0 down in the second half. I understand that Liverpool are one of the five best teams on the planet (probably even in the universe, if we’re being honest), but the visitors played right into the hands (or feet) of Liverpool.
I don’t really see what Southampton are trying to do. Their recruitment has been weird for several transfer windows now. I don’t think they’re really in danger of getting relegated, mostly because there’s at least 4 or 5 teams worse than them, but I also don’t see them being in any danger of getting better.
Any other team having someone win the Golden Boot
The top three goal scorers in the league are all Liverpool players. Mo Salah is top of the pops, king of the mountain with 11 goals in 13 Premier League matches. Joint second are Jota and Mane, who both are on 7.
I have some doubts about anyone else lifting that gold shiny shoe trophy at the end of the season.
Andy Robertson’s haters
Disclaimer: Kostas Tsmikas is good.
Another Disclaimer: Andrew Robertson is the best leftback in the world.
Alright, now that we’re on the same page, some of the conversations this week have been downright weird, to the point where Jurgen Klopp was asked about if he’d drop the scotsman because Tsmikas has been playing well. How did Robertson respond? Just an assist in the first 90 seconds, while playing well enough for the rest of the 90 minutes to have a hattrick of assists.
What Happens Next?
In the short-term we’ve got the Goodison Derby in the week. That thing is moody, but the Reds are in fine form and beating Everton is loads of fun. Hopefully Divock Origi does something mad or Sadio Mane dances the night away so that we can laugh and cheer the first night of December.
In the mid-term? Well, it’s December. Things start shaping up and that’s when Klopp loves to turn the screw. Since his first full season with the club, Klopp has only lost once in December, and that was all the way back in the 2016-17 season. This is the time of the year where Klopp targets the top of the table and doesn’t relent. I hope to be top of the table at Christmas.
What’s better than being top at Christmas? Being top in May. That’s the long-term here. There’s silverware to be won in May and what happens in December puts us closer to laughing and cheering together in May.
Enjoy now. Eyes on the prize. Up the Reds.